from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or process of inventing: used a technique of her own invention.
  • n. A new device, method, or process developed from study and experimentation: the phonograph, an invention attributed to Thomas Edison.
  • n. A mental fabrication, especially a falsehood.
  • n. Skill in inventing; inventiveness: "the invention and sweep of the staging” ( John Simon).
  • n. Music A short composition developing a single theme contrapuntally.
  • n. A discovery; a finding.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something invented.
  • n. The act of inventing.
  • n. The capacity to invent.
  • n. A small, self-contained composition, particularly those in J.S. Bach’s Two- and Three-part Inventions.
  • n. The act of discovering or finding; the act of finding out; discovery.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of finding out or inventing; contrivance or construction of that which has not before existed
  • n. That which is invented; an original contrivance or construction; a device
  • n. Thought; idea.
  • n. A fabrication to deceive; a fiction; a forgery; a falsehood.
  • n. The faculty of inventing; imaginative faculty; skill or ingenuity in contriving anything new.
  • n. The exercise of the imagination in selecting and treating a theme, or more commonly in contriving the arrangement of a piece, or the method of presenting its parts.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A finding. [Obsolete, or archaic, as in the phrase Invention of the Cross. See cross.]
  • n. The act or process of finding out how to make something previously unknown, or how to do something in a new way; original contrivance; creation by a new use of means: as, the invention of printing; the invention of the steamengine, or of an improved steam-engine.
  • n. That which is invented; something previously unknown, or some new modification of an existing thing, produced by an original use of means; an original contrivance or device. When used absolutely, it generally denotes a new mechanical device, or a new process in one of the useful arts.
  • n. Specifically, in music, a short piece in which a single thought is worked out, usually contrapuntally, but with the comparative simplicity of an impromptu or of a study.
  • n. The act of producing by the exercise of the imagination; mental fabrication or creation: as, the invention of plots or of excuses.
  • n. The faculty or power of inventing; skill or ingenuity in original contrivance; the gift of finding out or producing new forms, methods, processes, effects, etc.; in art and lit., the exercise of imagination in production; the creative faculty.
  • n. A coming in; arrival.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the creation of something in the mind
  • n. a creation (a new device or process) resulting from study and experimentation
  • n. the act of inventing


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English invencioun, scheme, plan, from Old French invencion, a finding out, from Latin inventiō, inventiōn-, inventiveness, from inventus, past participle of invenīre, to find; see invent.



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